Dorothy Sloan – Books

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[BIOGRAPHY]. BOGGESS, Francis Calvin Morgan. A Veteran of Four Wars. The Autobiography of F.C.M. Boggess, A Record of Pioneer Life and Adventure, and Heretofore Unwritten History of the Florida Seminole Indian Wars. Arcadia, Florida: Printed by the Champion Job Rooms, 1900. [4], [1] 2-87 [3] pp., frontispiece. 8vo (18.5 x 13.5 cm), original printed salmon wrappers. Covers lightly stained and worn, upper wrapper chipped and laid down, lower wrapper with corners repaired, spine in sympathetic facsimile. Except for a few light stains, the interior is fine. Very rare. No copies at auction in over thirty years.

First edition. Howes B569. Servies 12517. Tutorow 3693.

Although the majority of the text is about the Seminole Wars, the first war in which the author participated was the Mexican-American War, which is described on pp. 3-7. He enrolled in Alabama, landed at Veracruz, and was discharged at Mobile. A hilarious but somewhat shameful scene is described when an accidental shot sends U.S. volunteers fleeing in panic from an empty castle they had been sent to secure: “They threw away canteens, haversacks and anything that would prevent them from running.... The soldiers’ accouterments were scattered for five miles” (p. 5). He spent most of the war guarding the pass at Orizaba.

Boggess was born in 1833 and wrote this book not only to preserve history but also to raise money so he could get an x-ray to locate a bullet lodged in his knee. This is a very good copy of one of the rarest Mexican-American War narratives and a rare book in general.


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